U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro address the Summit of the Americas, where their relations appears to be on the rise. Nathan Frandino reports.
In a historic first, Cuba appears at the Summit of the Americas, where the improvement in U.S.-Cuba relations dominates the discussions. A night after U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro in a symbolic gesture of detente, the two leaders laid bare their thoughts on the future. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "We will continue to speak out on behalf of universal values that we think are important. I'm sure President Castro will continue to speak out on issues he thinks are important. But I firmly believe that if we can continue to move forward and seize this momentum in pursuit of mutual interests, then better relations between the United States and Cuba will create new opportunities for cooperation across our region for the security and prosperity and health and dignity of all our people." The two countries have not had diplomatic ties since 1961. But now are working to restore those relations and free up trade and travel between the two countries. Castro used his debut speech to condemn U.S policies of the past while praising Obama's new approach. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN PRESIDENT RAUL CASTRO SAYING: "I see as a positive steps his recent statements that he will quickly decide to remove the existence of Cuba from a list of countries that sponsor state terror and on which we should never have been included." Obama is expected to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism but will need Congress in order to lift the embargo.